Once you have made it through the sinkhole claim process and your insurance company has approved your claim, the repair process starts.
This can raise many questions:
- How disruptive will this be to my life?
- Will my property retain its value after the repairs are done?
- How do I ensure that my tenants are safe during the process?
- How long will this take?
- What should I expect?
It will be your responsibility to get bids from sinkhole repair companies, as well as cosmetic repair contractors. The sinkhole repair company must be a state licensed, certified geotechnical or structural engineer. Your insurance company may recommend some.
As sinkhole claims rise all over the state of Florida, and insurance companies continue to change the way they handle them, property owners have more and more questions about them.
Questions to ask a sinkhole repair company
Are you licensed and insured?
This seems like a no-brainer, but unlicensed and uninsured contractors abound in Florida. It is important to check. Helicon is licensed for the entire state of Florida and has successfully completed thousands of commercial and residential projects.
Is your company a member of the Better Business Bureau?
If they are, check their ratings and reviews. We are listed on the Better Business Bureau and have a A+ rating. You can also check on Google, Angie’s List, Yelp, Facebook, and Houzz.
Is your company a full member of the Florida Association of Sinkhole Repair Specialists (FAS3)?
Helicon is a proud and active member inside FAS3 which provides engineers, geologists and contractors with up to date information about sinkholes, remediation processes, innovations and new equipment.
How many years of experience do you and your staff have in sinkhole repair?
Select a company whose primary experience is sinkhole repair. Many General Contractors with years of experience in general construction will take on sinkhole repair jobs when construction is slow. Work with someone who is focused on sinkhole remediation.
How up to date are your methods and tools?
You don't have to understand how everything works. You do want to know how well the company has kept up with new advances in the sinkhole remediation process. Ask them what equipment advances they have made since they have been in business.
May I speak with some of your customers?
If the company is reputable, they should be able to give you some verified testimonials. You may be able to walk a job site with a foreman.
A sinkhole repair company will be in and around your property for a few weeks, maybe even a month during the repair process. For this reason, it is important to select one that you are comfortable with. After you have considered the "hard facts", consider how the company representatives made you feel about the process. Were you given a hard sell, or did they seem to want you to be an informed customer? Trust your gut.
The Bottom Line
If you’re in sinkhole alley, take nothing for granted. Read your landlord’s insurance policy or commercial insurance property and understand the details, including how your policy defines sinkhole/ground cover collapse hazards and what is and isn’t excluded. If your property is geologically at risk of sinkhole damage (which isn’t limited to Florida), expect to buy separate coverage, just as you do with flood insurance or windstorm/hurricane insurance.
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